I don’t run anymore. I hurt my ACL a while back and so I walk now. I started on a jogging track at a park. Its soft artificial surface is easy on my knees and it also provides safety from dangerous motorists.
While walking and Iooking at the characters on the track, I find that many of life’s lessons can be gleaned from these fine athletes.
1 Have a Plan – Who was it that said “IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU GET THERE”. How silly it would be to head out on a cross country road trip without ever checking for directions. That’s how many of us wander through life. That’s also how a lot of people meander on the tracks. No clear cut plan or idea of what they want to achieve or how to start the process. I should be exercising and so I’m going to go out and “Just Do It”. While the latter might have worked for NIKE, it’s a sure way to get disappointed in the short term or worse, get hurt in the long term. The truth is that life is really a journey and not a destination. You and I need a plan.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU GET THERE
2. Stay in your Lane – while there are many of us on this track, you have to stay in your lane to avoid colliding with anyone else! LANE-CROSSERS are hard to deal with. They ACT as though they are queens and kings of the track. They crisscross back and forth. They cause everyone else to avoid them or cajole them back to their lanes. These are the people constantly jumping from one popular fad to another. They move from one task to another without finishing the previous one. The saying goes a ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS. They disrupt everyone else’s plans for theirs. I have to admit these people are very annoying
A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS
3. Run your Race – We are in different stages in life. I often see young lads running sprints on this track while I see older folks walking, sometimes running, despite some level of discomfort perhaps the culmination of years of running. Some people are preparing for marathons and so run at that pace. Others are preparing for a sprint and so run at that pace. Sometimes it’s tempting to see how successful others are and try to emulate them. We have no idea what they have been through and how long they have been on this track. We don’t know what their plan is. Isn’t it foolish then to leave your plan and attempt to run theirs. People training for a marathon are interested in endurance, while those training for short sprints are working on their speed. Run your race, not someone else’s.
RUN YOUR RACE NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S
4. Enjoy the Scenery – So often we are in so much of a hurry to get to where we are going that we totally ignore where we are and the beauty around us. At the track the sunrises and sunsets were glorious. A reminder to be thankful to be alive and in the race. Many people have lost that privilege. We all know relatives and friends that are no longer here, be thankful that you have one more day to make changes and invest in the future. To mend relationships and make new memories!
5. Set a Pace, Evaluate & RE-evaluate – This is essential if one is ever to reach their goals. So often in life we set out at a pace but never take the time to evaluate if it is working for us. SELF EVALUATION IS PAINFUL BUT CRUCIAL TO ANY KIND OF SUCCESS. Most days on the track I have about an hour. I also know if I want to do 4 miles in that hour I have to clock at least a mile every 15 mins. If I subsequently cover less than 2 miles in half an hour? Time to set a new pace in motion.
SELF EVALUATION IS PAINFUL BUT CRUCIAL TO ANY KIND OF SUCCESS
6. When you fall, get back UP – This is what keeps you in the race. EVERYONE FALLS! NOT EVERYONE GETS BACK UP. Falling isn’t a matter of chance but of certainty. Some falls are public while others are private. Personally I strive for the latter but regardless I always try to get up. My wife had a terrible crash while learning how to ride a bike about 6 years ago. It was a public fall and at the time I thought she’d never get back on a bike just from the embarrassment, but we needed to get back home and it was way too far to walk. She got back on blood, gashes and all and rode home. In my shock, I asked How? She said she had always been afraid of falling in public but once it happened the worst was over and she was still alive! Don’t let the fear and the embarrassment after a fall cripple you! The worst has already happened you have nothing left to lose.
EVERYONE FALLS! NOT EVERYONE GETS BACK UP.
So are you in on this? The race is on. Looking back at past achievements or failures will not help. You and I need to do what Paul the apostle did…
Phil 3: 13-14
13 Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. 14 I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. (MSG)
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,* but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)